FCSA Recognizes Record Breaking Academic Results, Super Teachers, and High Quality Schools
FLORIDA – During National Charter Schools Week, May 7-11, 2018, the Florida Charter School Alliance, a non-profit public charter school support and advocacy organization, visited several member schools to recognize high academic results and celebrate the teachers who are helping students succeed. At each event, Principals and faculty members were recognized for raising achievement scores and narrowing the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students.
The students at Winthrop Charter School have continually earned high marks on the state assessment. Under the guidance of Principal Terry Johnson, Winthrop has also exceeded the national norm based upon the NWEA Benchmark Assessments at all grade-levels and has earned School of Excellence status from the State Board of Education – a designation given to schools that earn a school grade in the 80th percentile or better for at least two years in the last three years. The following teachers received a FCSA Charter School Hero Award: Sophia McMorris (3rd grade), Isis Cainis (ESE), Katelynn Bull (Middle School Math), Heather Blacco (Middle School Science), Megan Bruce (2nd Grade), and Maria Snider (5th grade) for helping students make impressive academic gains. Winthrop Charter is located in Riverview in Hillsborough County.
Glades Academy in Palm Beach County serves the communities of Pahokee and Belle Glades. The school was recognized for raising their score by two letter grades. Principal Jones and her team also implemented a music program and raised overall student achievement at this Title 1 school. Four teachers, Ms. Thomas, Mr. Houston, Mr. McKever, and Ms. Sistruck received a 2018 Charter School Hero Award for raising student performance scores. Special guests included: Adam Emerson, Charter School Director at the Florida Department of Education; Jim Pegg, Director,Charter School Office, Palm Beach School District; and Mayor Steve B. Wilson, City of Belle Glades.
Silvina Macho, CAP Advisor at Mater Academy, was named a 2018 Charter School Hero for encouraging students to enroll in dual enrollment courses, helping them apply to universities that fit their talents, and guiding them through the scholarship application process. For over a decade, Ms. Macho and the administrators at Mater Academy, a Title 1 school located in Hialeah Gardens (Miami-Dade County), have help hundreds of students get into, and graduate from, college — many are children of immigrants who are the first in their family to attend college. Just last week, 124 Mater Academy seniors graduated from Miami Dade College with a two-year college degree just weeks before their high school graduation.
A+ flags were presented to Steve Epstein, Principal, Renaissance at Palm West, and Elaine Perdomo, Principal, Pinecrest South, for their high overall performance and student achievement scores. Alpha Charter of Excellence was recognized for ranking in the top 10% in Learning Gains for Reading and Math.
For more than 20 years, Florida’s charter schools have been an integral part of the state’s K-12 public education system and a key contributor to the increase in student achievement – especially among minority students. The successes of public charter schools are outlined in a Florida Department of Education report entitled Student Achievement in Florida’s Charter Schools. According to that report, in many cases, charter school students outperform their peers who attend district-run schools: in 65 of the 77 comparisons, charter school students demonstrated higher rates of grade level performance, scoring a 3 or better on the state assessments; and the percentage of students making learning gains was higher in charter schools in 82 of the 96 comparisons.
Many charter schools held their own events to mark Charter Schools Week and Teacher Appreciation Week. Students and supporters at Miami Community Charter in Homestead sent us “I am a charter school…” selfies. The students at UCP recorded heartfelt messages to their teachers, and superstar recording artist (and charter school advocate) Pitbull paid a special visit to Somerset Lakes in Palm Beach.
Driven by parental demand for quality education options, public charter schools now serve more than 270,000 students in Florida.
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